Four years ago, VOA, ZUS and Hans van Heeswijk won the tender for the (re)development of the Slachthuisterrein. Already during the tender phase, a solid foundation was laid for an integrally designed residential area. For the 162 new homes, VOA developed a design with various housing forms, based on the ambition to accommodate a broad target group with a strong 'neighbourhood feeling'. The first phase has now been completed and the area is open to the public.

162 in 126 BEELD

"The municipality of Haarlem had the ambition to realise 120 row houses and would thus encourage gentrification, especially in highly mixed neighbourhood would then be an eternal waste. therefore, with fitting and measuring in the fit of 120 row houses, we made 162 non-row houses. This laid the foundation for a more inclusive community around the monumental slaughterhouse."

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Joeri van Ommeren, architect

Collectief wonen

Collective living

Based on the ambition to accommodate a wider target group with a strong neighbourhood feeling, 162 dwellings have been realised where the zoning plan envisaged 120 dwellings. The typolic change from row houses to residential buildings requires a good connection to the urban structure of the plan.

Building entrances connect to logical walking and sightlines. This ties the residential buildings to their surroundings. These entrances activate the urban space and at night serve as 'lanterns' that enhance liveability and social safety. Richly planted margin strips form a gradual transition between private and public; the home and the square. End walls overgrown with climbing plants emphasise meeting places in the neighbourhood. The transitions from public square to collective courtyards are carefully designed with elements such as a brick stairway stand that aligns with the monumental slaughter street.

the urban rowhouse

The red-black house of the 21st century

To create a more inclusive neighbourhood, 162 non-row houses were proposed in an original volume of 120 row houses. Within the recognisable volumes, a surprisingly diverse range of housing typologies has been created. This gives the traditional Haarlem red-and-black house a 21st-century successor. The houses are small and large, buy and rent and for young and old. Parking garages are framed with flats and covered with collective roof gardens where people live.

The residential buildings, built in three to five layers, have a pent roof. The sides facing the public space refer to the architecture of the slaughterhouse. These facades have a formal, rhythmic masonry architecture with piers in a warm tone. The façades of the houses facing the roof gardens are more informally designed in a light tone and form a playful basis for the collective roof garden.

Nature-inclusive residential buildings

Nature inclusiveness is an aspect that has been integrated into the design process. Besides being an inclusive neighbourhood for people, the area is nature-inclusive. Whereas the urban environment has traditionally offered little space for nature, the Slachthuisdistrict proves that it is precisely a petrified environment that can and should offer space for plants and animals. This can be seen in the communal gardens and flower beds, the integrated nesting boxes and the climbing plants. These species have been specifically chosen to suit the needs of the birds, mammals and insects we house here. The positions of the nesting boxes and climbing plants were determined using a method developed in-house.

"Sometimes you get to work on a project that touches you extra; Slaughterhouse is one of those. Almost every week I stop by the construction site to walk around and follow everything. The atmosphere on the construction site is great. This project is so beautifully layered, with all the layers having been worked on with great attention and passion. Really everything comes together here. The fact that, as a Haarlemmer, I am allowed to get involved in places like this is great. This is a place that facilitates encounters: encounters between history and future, between city and nature, between young talent and old talent, between new and old residents and so on. And all with plenty of room for architectural design. A new place to want to be and experience!"

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Joeri van Ommeren, architect

The future of the Slaughterhouse District

Plan Slaughterhouse District includes an integrated design that looks back 100 years and forward 100 years. The history of the slaughterhouse site is embraced and new housing and public functions breathe new life into the area. On a walk after the first completion, it is immediately noticeable that The Slaughterhouse District is an inclusive and (socially) sustainable neighbourhood for people and animals.